Hiring Red, White & You! is an annual statewide hiring event for veterans, hosted by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) in cooperation with all 28 workforce development boards. This year, we partnered with TWC, the Texas Veterans Commission, and the City of Austin to host the job fair at our North Career Center on November 7.
The event was an enormous success: 172 job seekers, including 93 veterans, connected with 46 employers and 14 service providers to explore work and training opportunities in Austin’s skilled workforce.
One of those hiring employers was the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD). Jim Espinoza, an HR recruiter, represented the Giddings State School, a juvenile correctional facility near Giddings in Lee County.
“My supervisor at the central office invited me to the Austin job fair, and I said I would love to,” Jim said. “Registering for this event was simple, convenient and efficient.”
At Hiring Red, White & You, Jim would raise awareness about career opportunities as youth development coaches at the Giddings State School.
“The coaches act as mentors and positive role models for youth, to help them with rehabilitation and meeting all their needs,” Jim said. “We also have mental health specialists, case managers and teachers and teacher’s aides at each facility.”
At Hiring Red, White & You, Jim shared job opportunities with interested veterans throughout the day: “I had a lot of good face-to-face contact with veterans, young men and women who shared a lot with me, had copies of their resumes for me, and took a liking to what TJJD offers. I had close to 40 signatures from job seekers who wanted to be contacted.”
For Jim, this veterans job fair was a valuable opportunity to network with other hiring organizations to connect Austin’s veterans with job openings.
“Hiring Red, White & You has a good setup where people can spread the word about employment opportunities. I looked across the room and saw a little bit of everything,” Jim said. “I met many good people and I will remember them because I can make referrals for the veterans I meet.’
Over the rest of November, Jim interviewed five veterans who expressed interest in working as youth development coaches at the Giddings State School and hired three.
“We had a big increase of applicants online and individuals going to the facility to turn in an application,” said Jim. “Interest has blossomed, and we have received a lot more exposure, which is a win for everybody—especially the veterans who find work that makes them happy and meets what they would love to do.”
For employers interested in hiring more veterans, Jim offered this advice: “Mark your calendars and come to this event. Hiring Red, White & You impressed me, and I had a good feeling when I left. I will be attending from here on out.”
If you are a veteran looking for a job, Workforce Solutions Capital Area can assist you with your search. Veterans receive priority for job and training referrals at our three Career Centers. Our career specialists are specifically trained to help veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and can help you achieve maximum employment and training opportunities. Learn more about available services for veterans.